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Distributed for Oberlin College Press

The Nothing Bird

Selected Poems

Pierre Peuchmaurd (1948-2009) was born in Paris, and became fascinated with surrealism in his teenage years. Though his poetry came to transcend the boundaries of surrealist work--by being both more lyrical and inhabited by more substantial narratives--he never forgot the movement and the artists that first inspired him. This is the first collection of his work in English. “The Nothing Bird is an exemplar of the art of translation at its best. E. C. Belli has translated the exquisitely lyric, surrealist poems of the late Pierre Peuchmaurd into equally exquisite poems in English. These translations sing. From first page to last, I savored reading this volume, which includes a selection of poems written over three decades of Peuchmaurd’s career. With generosity of mind and fine erudition, E. C. Belli has placed her impressive gifts as a linguist and poet in the service of translating a poet whose work feels necessary for our souls."  — Cynthia Hogue "E. C. Belli’s transfixing translations of Pierre Peuchmaurd make it possible not just to read of the night’s elbows ’on the table of the day’ but to be at that table, to experience the Peuchmaurdian madness of night’s bald child hatching a bald chicken. These are gorgeous, glorious translations of a poet who knows how ’everything roars, and everything falls silent.’" — Idra Novey

104 pages | 6 x 9


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Table of Contents

Translator’s Introduction • from The Nothing Bird (1984) • A treatise on Wolves • from Short Fictions The Snow • Childhood • Sunday • The Journey • Art Objects, Six Frights • The Edge of the Woods • The Courtyard • The Stable • The Wall • The Office • The Room • from The Fiddler Crab • from Life in the Countryside • Sunday • The Cats • The Old Washhouse • Migrations • Closure • from In Settlement for All Dreams • April’s Wolf from The Loris-Atlantique • Twelve Torments from The Twisted Eye (2003) • The Twisted Eye • September Alone • from The Tiger and the Signifier • The Lovers • The Images • The Foam of Lions • Before the End • Glimmers • from Perfect Hurts and Other Achievements (2007) • Boulevard des Invalides • A Few of the Words I Was Mysteriously Allowed Until Now • It Will Come in My Left Lung • The Watchman • Furniture • After You • The Bubble Ball • Written for the Occasion • Iris Waterfall • The Bridge • The Ocean of the Washhouse and Even the Rust is Blue • The Lawn • Hurry • The Night • A Walk With • The Useless • Red Water • I Don’t • The Wind in April 2007 • A Truth Told to the Loved Woman • Do You. . . • Acknowledgments

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